The 5 Essential Lessons Of Leadership

The 5 Essential Lessons Of Leadership

The Five Essential Lessons Of Leadership 

By Mark Wager 

There’s been a lot said about Leadership,. Just to give you an idea of how much there is out there, on average there are four to five books published every day. There’s not enough time in a day to read five books so no matter what a Leader does they will not be able to keep up to date with what people are saying about how to be an effective leader. So this week I want to help you out by highlighting the most essential lessons that every Leader needs to embrace on a daily basis.

Leadership lesson One:

You can’t even think about Leading a team until you have the humility & courage to Lead yourself.

All good Leadership starts within. If you have ambitions to lead, then the very first lesson you need to learn is how to lead yourself because if you can’t achieve that then you will never become an effective Leader. A team looks to its leader for  guidance on how to behave, what behaviours are acceptable and what behaviours are not. They are not looking for what the leader says instead they are looking at their Leader's actions. If the Leader is confident so is the team. If the leader believes in the direction the team is heading, the team will follow, yet if the Leader is not working hard then they lose the authority to ask the same of others so before you even start thinking about leading others you need to make sure you are able to lead yourself first 

Leadership lesson Two: 

Don’t ask to help your team, just help them.

It’s very common for a Leader to walk around and ask their team if they need help and how they can help but in reality if you are one of those Leaders who do this then you need to learn that   you are already too late. A Leader needs to provide direction, an effective leader is like a conductor guiding an orchestra, the conductor doesn’t play the instruments, they don’t even tell the musicians how to play and you will never see the conductor stopping the music in order to ask how they can help because the conductor is busy setting the tempo and providing direction. If you want to be an effective Leader then you need to be aware of the direction of the team, Its the rhythm, whether it’s too low or too high fast or slow which determines just how each member of your team is getting on - if you do this then you won’t have to ask to help because you will already know if they need help and how you can help them.

Leadership lesson Three:

Leadership is never about you. 

As a Leader the majority of attention falls upon you especially when things are going well and praise and bonuses are given out yet it’s Important to remember that Leadership is about many things but it’s never ever about you, no matter how much the focus of others falls upon you as a Leader, no matter how many accolades you receive you always need to make sure that your focus is on the team because without the team the Leader is no longer the leader. It’s not a job title that makes a Leader a Leader, instead it’s people within a team  having the trust and faith in someone that makes them a Leader. It’s fine for a Leader to be ambitious and to seek greatness as long as they remember that greatness as a Leader can only be achieved by unlocking the potential in others.

Leadership lesson Four:

Leadership is different depending on the size of your team.

A common mistake I have found that Leaders make is that they don’t adapt their leadership style to the size of their team. An important lesson for leaders to learn is depending on how large your team is you will need to focus on very different aspects of Leadership. I know people who are great with small teams but struggle when they are promoted to lead much larger teams because they fail to adapt. If you have a small team then you are a people influencer and you need to focus directly on influencing the people within your team yet when you have a much larger team you won’t have the time to meet with everyone individually so you need to lead by creating a culture which allows other people to lead. No one form of Leadership is more difficult than another it’s just different and requires a different range of skills and techniques. So you need to be aware of this otherwise a promotion can quickly change from an opportunity and turn into a problem.

Leadership Lesson Five:

If you are not growing today, you won’t be able to lead tomorrow. 

I’ve found that curious people end up becoming the most effective Leaders because they have learnt the lesson that when you become a Leader it is not the end of your journey, it’s in fact just the beginning. The business world is moving at an incredible rate, the workplace ten years ago looks quite different to the workplace today, technology has changed how we interact with each other, the world seems a far smaller place with small businesses are able to do businesses internationally and along with this change society has changed as well. Some  workshop behaviours that were acceptable in the past are frowned upon today. If the Leader is not growing then they are standing still and when this happens the Leader runs the risk of becoming unaware that their Leadership style is outdated. There's  a reason why so many books on Leadership are published . There's also  a reason why people like myself travel the world training Leaders. It's  because the very best leaders are constantly evolving, they have learnt the lesson that if they are not growing today then they won’t be able to lead tomorrow.

Posted: Thursday 20 February 2020

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